Start Training EarlyWISE Preschool
A Preschool That Empowers
The WISE Preschool is the only school in the state of Alabama dedicated solely to teaching deaf children to speak. WISE creates a learning environment that is similar to traditional preschool, while addressing the unique needs of children who are deaf and hard of hearing and children with speech/language delays.
A Language Rich Environment
How we’re different
We promote a language rich environment where children can develop their listening, language, and speech skills in a positive and nurturing learning environment. Children are placed in small groups based upon their listening and language skills and instruction is provided by Certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialists. Typical hearing and speaking peers are included in each classroom and benefit from the listening focused language rich environment. Our unique model gives all students a distinct advantage over children in traditional preschools.
At WISE, we believe that children learn best in nurturing environments where they feel confident and excited about school. Our small teacher to child ratio is perfect for young children with hearing loss as they make the connections between sound and meaning, speak their first words, and develop comprehension and use of spoken language. The focus of activities is based on the interest of the children and therapy goals are disguised in fun, motivating activities. The WISE environment allows children to learn, grow and develop while at play.
Here at WISE, we believe in fostering creativity in a variety of ways including dramatic play, painting, drawing, art projects, building with blocks, puppet shows, and acting out familiar and imaginary stories. While engaging in creative activities, our young listeners have multiple opportunities to practice listening and speaking skills.
The work in small groups with other children gives our young listeners opportunities to develop social skills such as turn taking, sharing and compromise. Through social play, children learn to appreciate the feelings of others and how to respond during times of conflict. The unique environment at WISE fosters an acceptance of differences and compassion for others. Children identify and form friendships with others who share similar challenges.
Developing Academic Skills
Academic skills are encouraged during our preschool days. Children are exposed to Math concepts such as size, shape, and counting through games involving matching, sorting, making patterns, and sequencing. Fun cooking activities expose children to measuring and sequencing. Children are read to daily during individual and group time. Phonics work is included for our children as they prepare to transition into kindergarten. Through all activities children develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Gross Motor Skills
Opportunities for outside play are provided daily, weather permitting. Our outdoor playground area provides a wealth of language opportunities and allows children to develop skills in running, climbing, jumping, digging, riding bicycles and playing ball games. For children with gross and fine motor delays, occupational therapy is available during the preschool day.
Music therapy has positive benefits in speech and language development in children, particularly in deaf and hard of hearing children as well as children who struggle with speech delays or auditory processing problems. In learning to discriminate between different musical instruments and sound, deaf and hard of hearing children also learn how to identify the differences between questions, statements, and commands. Learning emotional prosody can even help children identify emotions like sarcasm, joy, sadness, anger, disappointment, gratitude, and more, which is essential to children’s ability to understand language. The rhythm and lyrics of music helps children grasp the rhythm in language as well as expand their vocabulary. We believe music therapy is a necessary addition to our program to further the development of our children in listening and in spoken language, as well as socially.
Enroll in the WISE Preschool Program
Your enrollment process begins here. Please fill out the preschool program form. Please note that submission of this form does not guarentee enrollment into the WISE preschool program.
Through generous contributions from public and private entities, the WISE Preschool is offered tuition free for families. Each family pays a yearly supply fee.
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The Woolley Institute for Spoken-Language Education (WISE), is a 501 © not for profit organization dedicated to teaching deaf children to speak. We are a statewide, family focused program working in collaboration with Alabama’s Early Intervention System, local school systems, and private and public entities which advance the education of deaf children who use listening and spoken language.